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Member since: Tue Jul 29, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Handy Compilation of Trump's Russian Connections

Compilation of Trump's Russian Connections


We should view all the stories about Russia and Trump as part of a whole. To facilitate that, I made an outline of the (1) evidence and (2) people/businesses linking Trump to Russia. Almost all this information comes from mainstream media sites. Almost every sentence is cited.

Extensive Russian Business Connections: Even before the 2000ís, Trump rented posh apartments to Russians mobsters. [TAI]. But Trumpís Russian connections were limited until he became a bad credit risk. [FT]. From 2004 to 2009, two Trump businesses entered bankruptcy and he was unable to pay off a $40 million bank loan. [Newsweek]. As banks stopped lending to Trump, he was forced to seek capital from billionaire kleptocrats and oligarchs in the former Soviet Union and Russia. [TAI]. These billionaires were eager investors in the Trump Organization, and as Trumpís son asserted in 2008, ďa lot of money [was] pouring in from Russia.Ē [CNN]. Recently, Reuters estimated that Russians have purchased, at the very least, $98 million worth of lots in Trump Towers in Florida alone. In addition, a one Russian oligarch bought a Trump mansion for $95 million in 2008. [FT]. Trumpís business with some of these oligarchs and kleptocrats continued until he ran for president. [see e.g. WaPo (2013 Moscow Beauty Pageant); NYT (Moscow Tower plan for 2015)].
During the Campaign: Putin directed Russian intelligence to help the Trump campaign by hacking Democratsí emails, leaking these emails via WikiLeaks, and flooding social media with anti-Hillary propaganda. [NYT]. Such influence by a foreign power was unprecedented in a US presidential election. [Reuters]. Perhaps coincidentally, Trumpís campaign regularly communicated with Russian officials and, quite likely, senior Russian intelligence officials. [NYT; CNN]. Moreover, campaign members had suspicious connections with organizations tied to Russia. For example: (1) during the campaign, Roger Stone served as a ďback-channelĒ to WikiLeaks and a Twitter account run likely run by Russian intelligence agencies, [Guardian(WikiLeaks); [WashTimes(Guccifer)]; (2) in 2015, Michael Flynn was paid at least $68,000 by Russian entities, including over $45,000 by RT and $11,250 by a Russian cybersecurity firm, [WaPo]; (3) in October 2016, Trump Jr. was paid at least $50,000 for attending private discussions hosted by a pro-Putin Syrian think tank, [WSJ]; and (4) years earlier, Manafort was paid 12 million dollars in off-the-books cash in exchange for working for a pro-Putin Ukrainian party, [NYT]. Also, during the campaign, a former British spy sent the FBI a dossier claiming Trump colluded with Russia, which allegedly had bribed and blackmailed him. [NYT; Buzzfeed (for dossier)].
Trumpís Transition and Presidency: After Trump won the election, he picked nominees with ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs, such as Rex Tillerson and Wilbur Ross. [CBS; MotherJones]. He also picked Flynn for National Security Advisor, who during the transitions, infamously discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador over five phone calls on the day they were announced by Obama. [Reuters]. Trump shares Flynnís concern with sanctions, and has persistently advocated removing them and working with Putin. [see e.g. Reuters, Politico]. However, Trump has been preemptively thwarted by Congress. [USAToday (many Republicans have voiced support for sanctions)].
US Intel Agencies and Allies: Officials in US intelligence agencies strongly suspect collusion between Trump and Russia, [Haaretz; WSJ], as do our Western European and Baltic allies, [Newsweek]. They have investigated Trumpís associates and uncovered many suspicious contacts with Russian officials. [Newsweek; NYT; CNN].

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